Are you arranging a funeral for someone who has asked for a jazz funeral? If so you are probably being asked to help celebrate the life of an individual who looked at the world in a slightly different way than most people! The jazz funeral is long standing tradition from New Orleans. Put simply it is a ceremony in two parts. The first part symbolises the mourning of the individual who has passed away. This is represented by the slow marching of the band, followed by the cortege. The jazz band playing old traditional hymns. These would include songs like “The Old Rugged Cross” “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” and “Amazing Grace” After the service has finished then the jazz band strikes up with more happy songs to celebrate a life well lived. Jazz funeral songs like After You’ve Gone. When You’re Smiling and that old favourite The Saints!”
How can we help with the process? Well, we have been attending jazz funerals with our New Orleans Funeral Jazz Band for many years now. It is fair to say that most peoples perception of jazz funeral music comes from the 1970’s James Bond Film “Live and Let Die” the opening scene is of a jazz funeral, set in New Orleans and featuring a New Orleans Jazz Band playing “Just a Closer Walk With Thee”. We are able to supple a jazz funeral band in London, the South East and most parts of England. We are able to do this at a sensible price, even far from London.
This is because we have excellent relationships with talented local musicians. We combine our London professionals with local players, therefore keeping costs down. Usually we recommend between four and six players. Below you can experience the band play an example of a slow hymn, sometimes known as “The Dirge” followed by some uplifting happy music.
A typical jazz funeral may unfold like this: The band convene at the cemetery gates. When the funeral cortege arrives the New Orleans Jazz Band walk everyone up in a Jazz Funeral march to and in to the chapel. After the service is over the mourners come out of the chapel and the band strike up with happy songs like “When You’re Smiling” “Ain’t Misbehaving'” and “After You’ve Gone”.
As the cortege gets back into the cars, the jazz band make their way to the hotel where the wake is to take place. The band continue with upbeat songs for an hour whilst people mingle, hopefully sharing stories of the person who has passed away. Variations on the funeral bands service include starting from the house of he deceased. Maybe you want the band to play reflective music during the service. Are you arranging a West Indian Funeral and you want the band to play hymns for singing by the graveside? We are always able to oblige individuals wishes. Funeral Jazz Band Hire for everyone
What happens now? Well, contact us here for a quote or phone us on 020 8761 8932 to discuss the individual requirements of the funeral you are arranging. We can liaise with your funeral director on timings and payment. We can send over testimonials from people who have used our services. In the meantime, here is a genuine testimonial from a client who arranged his brothers funeral recently.
”The New Orleans Funeral Jazz Band gave my brother (aged 87 years) the best send off ever imagined at his funeral celebration yesterday. Jeff’s Band arrived well before time, met immediate family, played before, during and after the service.
We went for an upbeat celebration which the Band achieved to perfection. The whole gathering were saying it was the best funeral ever and loved the style and the manner in which Jeff and his Band conducted themselves.
If you have ever fancied a real ‘send off’ which will not upset the older generation (imagine the age of some of the guests) and will take the pain out of a funeral then go for it with Jeff and his Band.
Ken Venables and Family